Forwarded from: justiceforaafia.org
31 March 2010
Forwarded Alert: UK – Aafia Siddiqui forced to walk on Qu’ran whilst naked
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As hundreds of concerned citizens hold a Day of Remembrance in Pakistan to commemorate the seventh anniversary of her disappearance, the Justice for Aafia Coalition reveal for the first time, in the English language, specific harrowing details of the abuse Aafia Siddiqui was forced to endure in the years spent in secret detention.
March 30th 2010
During the course of an interview by Kamran Shahid on Pakistan’s Front Line, screened 26th March, Siddiqui’s mother and sister described publicly for the first time the various forms of torture she underwent at the hands of US agents. This included being:
– forcefully stripped by six men and then repeatedly sexually abused
– beaten with rifle butts until she bled
– bound to a bed, with her hands and feet tied whilst unspecified forms of torture were administered to the soles of her feet and head
– injected with unknown substances
– dragged by her hair
– having her hairs pulled out one by one
– forced to walk on the Qu’ran which had been desecrated in her cell whilst naked
Maryam Hassan, founder of the Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC), commented:
“These most recent horrific revelations shine a light for the first time on years of detention shrouded until now in darkness and mystery. Forced nudity, violent sexual abuse, the desecration of the Qu’ran, video-taped torture sessions have become infamous hallmarks of US detention since the start of the War on Terror, from Bagram to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.
The Obama administration must immediately disclose any video evidence in its possession relating to Ms Siddiqui’s detention and torture. The American public has a right to know what is being carried out in its name as much as the Pakistani public are deserving of knowing the horrendous abuse one of their citizens has been subjected to. “
For the full interview, transcribed and translated into English by the Justice for Aafia Coalition, please visit:
To view the video recording of the interview in Urdu:
A version with English subtitles will be available on www.justiceforaafia.org soon.
Notes for editor:
1. The Justice for Aafia Coalition is an umbrella body for a number of organizations, groups, and activists created in February 2010 to campaign for the release and return of Aafia Siddiqui and for the opening of a full investigation into the circumstances of her detention and the whereabouts of her children.
2. Aafia Siddiqui’s lawyers maintain that she was abducted by the Pakistani and US agents along with her three children in 2003 and rendered to Afghanistan where she was detained by American forces for over five years. Siddiqui claims she was abused, raped and tortured throughout her detention. She was convicted in February 2010 of allegedly firing on US soldiers while in custody in what appears to have been a grave miscarriage of justice. Whilst her son Ahmed was released in September 2008 from Afghan custody, two of her children remain unaccounted for to date. For full details of Aafia Siddiqui’s case, please visit www.justiceforaafia.org
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